It’s not everyday that a 62-year-old runs across the country.
But that won't stop Jack Fussell. On January 12th, he began his journey in Savannah, Georgia and will run through the Mid-South and on to Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico, ending his journey in Monterey, California.
He's running the journey to raise awareness for Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, which currently affects more than five million Americans. Every 68 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with the disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death with no cure or treatment to slow its progression.
During his 3,500-mile trek, which is estimated to take between six and eight months to complete, he will run through Memphis. On Tuesday, March 19th, Fussell will arrive in Collierville by car and do interviews and tours to Assisted Living facilities within the town. On Wednesday, March 20th, he will be driven back to Walnut, Mississippi, the last place he stopped on his run, to resume his journey. He will run 23 miles from there to Collierville. This will be followed by a 24-mile stretch on Thursday morning from Collierville to downtown Memphis.
Susan Graham, senior director of the city's Alzheimer's Association, said he needs food and transportation during his stay in Collierville and Memphis. Local restaurants are encouraged to donate meals, and people are encouraged to help provide transportation, gift cards, and donations.
"It’s not an easy task that he’s doing," Graham said. "And it’s just him and his jogging stroller, but when you think about the folks who struggle with this disease, it’s a 24-hour a day job, and so, it’s definitely a need to raise awareness to the struggles that they go through."
Fussell's main objective with the journey is to celebrate the memory of his father, whom he lost to Alzheimer’s disease in 2000, and also raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. He’s set a personal fundraising goal of $250,000 that will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
Anyone who has questions can contact Susan Graham at (901) 565-0011